0416-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 16 Apr 2018, Monday

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Constructed by: David Woolf
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Reveal Answer: Eye Contact

Themed answers comprise two words, the first ending with a letter I, and the second starting with a letter I. That gives us two letters I in contact (sounds like “EYE CONTACT”).

  • 62A. Asset for a public speaker … or a hint to 17-, 24-, 37- and 52-Across : EYE CONTACT
  • 17A. World’s largest religious denomination : SUNNI ISLAM
  • 24A. Org. looking for aliens : SETI INSTITUTE
  • 37A. Supporting nativist policies : ANTI-IMMIGRATION
  • 52A. One teaching pizza slices and S-turns : SKI INSTRUCTOR

Bill’s time: 6m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. Longest river in France : LOIRE

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet.

16. “Sesame Street” monster : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” is Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

17. World’s largest religious denomination : SUNNI ISLAM

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

19. Matty or Felipe of major-league baseball : ALOU

Matty Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Jesus and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

21. Org. for the Suns and the Heat : NBA

The Phoenix Suns NBA team are in the Pacific Division, and are the only team in that division not based in California.

The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

22. Inuit homes : IGLOOS

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

The Inuit peoples live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

24. Org. looking for aliens : SETI INSTITUTE

“SETI” is the name given to a number of projects that are searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

31. Tales set on Mount Olympus, e.g. : MYTHS

Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was home to the gods, and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.

45. Dog on “The Jetsons” : ASTRO

“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it was debuted in 1963 by ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” are like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family in Orbit City are Rosie the household robot and Astro the pet dog.

49. Moon vehicle, for short : LEM

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

51. Supermodel Banks : TYRA

Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosted the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also had her own talk show. She was also the first African American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue. Banks took over as host of “America’s Got Talent” in 2017.

57. Partner of the Father and Holy Ghost : SON

In the Christian tradition, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost are three persons in one divine being, the Holy Trinity.

58. Musical Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

66. Philosopher Descartes : RENE

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”.

67. Hole in one on a par three : EAGLE

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

69. Avant-garde : EDGY

Someone or something described as avant-garde is especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.

70. Radioer’s “Got it” : ROGER

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

71. Old U.S. gas brand still seen in Canada : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Down

1. Crossword-solving girl on “The Simpsons” : LISA

Lisa Simpson is Bart’s brainy younger sister on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Lisa is voiced by actress Yeardley Smith. In a 2008 episode of the show, Lisa enters a crossword tournament. Crossword celebrities Merl Reagle and Will Shortz make appearances in that episode, basically playing cartoon versions of themselves.

2. Cabinet dept. concerned with schools : EDUC

The largest government department in the cabinet is the Department of Defense (DOD), with a permanent staff of over 600,000. The smallest department, by far, is the Department of Education, with a mere four or five thousand employees.

4. Roseanne’s hubby on “Roseanne” : DAN

Actor John Goodman will forever be remembered as Dan Conner, the on-screen husband of Roseanne Barr in the sitcom “Roseanne”. Goodman went to Missouri State University where he studied drama and was a compatriot of Kathleen Turner. The role that I most enjoyed played by Goodman was Speaker of the House Glen Allen Walken on the great show “The West Wing”. He also featured in the Amazon sitcom “Alpha House”, in another political role.

5. Accused’s line a judge might not believe : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.

6. Artwork with tiles : MOSAIC

In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.

7. Cartoonist Keane : BIL

Bil Keane was a cartoonist most associated with his strip “The Family Circus”. Once Bil sketched out the text and idea for the cartoon, he used to send it off to his son Jeff Keane who inked and colored the pictures for him in preparation for publication. In the storyline itself, the main characters are based on Bil’s own family. In fact, the son “Jeffy” in the story is based on Jeff, Bil’s son and longtime production assistant. After Bil passed away in 2011, Jeff took over as the author of the strip.

10. Property in buildings and land : REALTY

The terms “realty” and “real estate” date back to the later 1600s, and are derived from the earlier meaning “real possession”, something one owns that is tangible and real.

13. Purchases before hotels, in Monopoly : HOUSES

In the game of Monopoly, one can purchase a hotel by “demolishing” four houses and by paying an extra amount equal to the price of a house.

18. Bad throw for a QB: Abbr. : INT

Interception (Int.)

23. Stabilizing part of a ship’s compass : GIMBAL

A gimbal is a pivoted support, usually in the shape of a ring. The supported item is located in the center of the ring. One gimbal allows the supported item to tilt freely around one axis. By using two gimbals, one inside the other, the item can tilt freely in two directions. A ship’s compass is often housed within three gimbals. The two gimbals tend to isolate the compass from the movement of the ship in all three axes.

25. Needle case : ETUI

An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

27. Urban air pollution : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

28. Upper half of a bikini : BRA

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

29. ___ Goodman, longtime judge on “Dancing With the Stars” : LEN

Len Goodman is a professional ballroom dancer. Goodman is the head judge on the US’s “Dancing with the Stars”, and was head judge until 2017 on the original UK version of the show called “Strictly Come Dancing”.

33. Gymnast Biles with four Olympic gold medals : SIMONE

Simone Biles holds the record for the most gold medals won by an American gymnast in a single Olympic Games. She achieved the feat at the 2016 games held in Rio.

36. ___ Fields cookies : MRS

The Mrs. Fields brand of snack foods was founded in the late seventies by Debbi Fields. Fields opened her first store in Palo Alto, California.

39. One of the Jackson 5 : TITO

The Jackson 5 singing group was originally made up of brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. The four eldest brothers are still performing, but now using the name “The Jacksons”.

41. “___ the ramparts we watched …” : O’ER

The words “o’er the ramparts we watched” come from “The Star Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

42. Gun enthusiast’s org. : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

48. Daisy who plays Rey in “Star Wars” films : RIDLEY

Rey is a central character in the “Star Wars” universe. She first appeared in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Rey is played by British actress Daisy Ridley.

55. Channel that became Spike TV in 2003 : TNN

Spike TV is a 2003 relaunch of The Nashville Network (TNN) and was marketed as the first television channel for men. The station owners ran into trouble though as the director Spike Lee sued, claiming that viewers would assume he was associated with the channel because of the use of “Spike”. The suit was settled when Lee concluded that there was no intention to trade on his name.

59. Long-running CBS police drama : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

63. Ming worth millions of dollars : YAO

Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

64. ___ McMuffin : EGG

The McMuffin breakfast sandwich was introduced, without the knowledge of the corporate office, by the operator of a Santa Barbara, California franchise in 1972. Back then, McDonald’s only offered food for lunch and dinner. The initial reaction of the corporate office on hearing about the McMuffin was to reprimand the Santa Barbara franchise operator, before embracing the concept.

65. Item in a caddie’s bag : TEE

“Caddie” is a Scottish word, as one might expect given the history of the game of golf. “Caddie” is a local word derived from the French “cadet”, meaning a younger son or brother, and also a student officer in the military.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Crudely sexual : LEWD
5. Orange-yellow : AMBER
10. Quick and not well thought out : RASH
14. Creative start : IDEA
15. Longest river in France : LOIRE
16. “Sesame Street” monster : ELMO
17. World’s largest religious denomination : SUNNI ISLAM
19. Matty or Felipe of major-league baseball : ALOU
20. Play a role : ACT
21. Org. for the Suns and the Heat : NBA
22. Inuit homes : IGLOOS
24. Org. looking for aliens : SETI INSTITUTE
28. Ink problem : BLOT
30. End of a business’s email address : COM
31. Tales set on Mount Olympus, e.g. : MYTHS
32. Say “No, thanks” to : REFUSE
35. Baby’s starting place : WOMB
37. Supporting nativist policies : ANTI-IMMIGRATION
43. Cow sounds : MOOS
44. Device behind a deli counter : SLICER
45. Dog on “The Jetsons” : ASTRO
49. Moon vehicle, for short : LEM
51. Supermodel Banks : TYRA
52. One teaching pizza slices and S-turns : SKI INSTRUCTOR
56. Make blue : SADDEN
57. Partner of the Father and Holy Ghost : SON
58. Musical Yoko : ONO
61. Gas or electric: Abbr. : UTIL
62. Asset for a public speaker … or a hint to 17-, 24-, 37- and 52-Across : EYE CONTACT
66. Philosopher Descartes : RENE
67. Hole in one on a par three : EAGLE
68. Move text here and there : EDIT
69. Avant-garde : EDGY
70. Radioer’s “Got it” : ROGER
71. Old U.S. gas brand still seen in Canada : ESSO

Down

1. Crossword-solving girl on “The Simpsons” : LISA
2. Cabinet dept. concerned with schools : EDUC
3. Became lenient : WENT SOFT
4. Roseanne’s hubby on “Roseanne” : DAN
5. Accused’s line a judge might not believe : ALIBI
6. Artwork with tiles : MOSAIC
7. Cartoonist Keane : BIL
8. End of an ___ : ERA
9. Send, as payment : REMIT
10. Property in buildings and land : REALTY
11. “110%” : ALL OUT
12. Alternative to chunky, for peanut butter : SMOOTH
13. Purchases before hotels, in Monopoly : HOUSES
18. Bad throw for a QB: Abbr. : INT
23. Stabilizing part of a ship’s compass : GIMBAL
25. Needle case : ETUI
26. Still uninformed : NO WISER
27. Urban air pollution : SMOG
28. Upper half of a bikini : BRA
29. ___ Goodman, longtime judge on “Dancing With the Stars” : LEN
33. Gymnast Biles with four Olympic gold medals : SIMONE
34. Offshoot of punk rock : EMO
36. ___ Fields cookies : MRS
38. Shed, as feathers : MOLT
39. One of the Jackson 5 : TITO
40. Winter driving hazards : ICY ROADS
41. “___ the ramparts we watched …” : O’ER
42. Gun enthusiast’s org. : NRA
45. Guarantee : ASSURE
46. Glided on ice : SKATED
47. Satisfying until later, with “over” : TIDING
48. Daisy who plays Rey in “Star Wars” films : RIDLEY
50. Brawn : MUSCLE
53. Make a nasty face : SNEER
54. One making dove sounds : COOER
55. Channel that became Spike TV in 2003 : TNN
59. Long-running CBS police drama : NCIS
60. Good name for a chauffeur? : OTTO
63. Ming worth millions of dollars : YAO
64. ___ McMuffin : EGG
65. Item in a caddie’s bag : TEE